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  • Writer's pictureStan Sudan

Criticism through the eyes of a writer

After hearing from Darkuma, I wrote back to her after she posted her review comment. I asked her if she was just doing it merely to be supportive, or whether she actually meant what she had written. She laughed, and said she knew I would be skeptical, and that truly she enjoyed the book--and that it had sparked some deep thoughts, and had piqued her sense of relationships to, and in, the universe. I'm grateful that at least two of my readers "got" what I was striving for.

I was really surprised at her reference to Castaneda's work, though. He so inspired me at an early stage of my writing. I devoured all of his books. It's one of the reasons the material in Dancers of Light and Darkness took the route/setting that it did. He and Charles de Lint, a modern urban fantasy author, were huge influences on both my writing style and the literal content of much of my writing. What was great was that on the same day as I heard from two of my readers, I heard from one of my editors, as well. It was rather thrilling to hear, while on the exact same day that Carlos Castaneda's voice was invoked as a comparison to the journey the reader had taken during her reading of Sisters of Light, the critical voice of my editor, in attempting to soften some of the hard critique I needed to hear, also used "hardcore fantasy," "Game of Thrones," and "Tolkien," in the same sentence. I guess it's easier to shove criticism into the mouth of an author whose mouth is hanging agape.

I still haven't gotten used to the roller coaster thrill and simultanesous anxiety of watching downloads being tracked. I probably shouldn't watch. Maybe one day soon the excitement and sheer enthrallment of near-real-time adjustments to the chart will wear off. I was so excited when I saw the 23-book spike on the downloads at B&N show up on Smashwords retails sales report that my wife and I both danced for joy. I don't think I'll ever get used to the highs those events cause. :) It's quite euphoric, this whole "published author" stuff. And a HUGE paradigm shift, as well.

I noticed today, walking to my 8th grade language arts class that I was looking differently at the world--more than I ever before had. I was seeing it through "writer's" eyes, and not "teacher's" eyes, if you can imagine the difference. It was rather startling and at the same time exciting for me. Subtle change. But real nevertheless. So now I'm nervously awaiting judgment--a la reviews, for the book. But--I say while anxiously holding my breath--that's the life of an artist, right? Awaiting judgment by the masses?

It would be very cool to have supportive reviews on all three of the e-Book sites, Smashwords, Goodreads and Barnes & Noble, (I have more, but these would be best,) if anyone wouldn't mind doing them.

E-Book sales outnumber print by a zillion to one these days. But if you are feeling extraordinarily kind and would like to head over to Amazon to post a review on the print version as well, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again! Ever so grateful.

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